Instructables

How to make a Dutch Arrow (centrifugally stabilized javalin)

Picture of How to make a Dutch Arrow (centrifugally stabilized javalin)
The Dutch Arrow is a weapon I learned to make at scout camp last year. It was a war weapon, but it became a hunting tool and at scouts it is regarded as “ruddy good fun”. As the title suggests it is stabilised by centrifugal force, by its spinning. This is similar to the gyro spinning top toys. Usually you would be able to throw a stick around 5-8 meters, a javelin 10-18 meters but on my first throw I threw it around 30 meters and got it to hit and stick into the ground.

DISCLAIMER:
This is a weapon and so is capable of lethality and that is for all people within range. This includes the launcher. Don’t throw when there is wind, rain, or so on that can affect trajectory. If you screw up the throw people may be at risk and it may swing back and stab you. You make this at your own risk. This may be illegal in your area, so check. Don’t blame me.

Now that is out of the way, let’s get started!

By the way you can mix the steps up into what you want to do ( within reason ) this is just the order i did it in. 

 
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Phnom Penh2 years ago
I remember making these as a kid.
We didn't used to make them spin, though - and we used to get around 100m throws with them.

Please excuse an old fart jumping on your instructable - it's a good one and you've brought back many happy memories - thanks.

Try these ideas....

1. Use a lighter stick than a broom handle, and make it about as long as your arm - perhaps a little longer, but not much. 1/2 inch wooden dowel works well.
2. Add a small weight to the front end to bring the centre of balance forward, a few bolt washers or a nut normally does it.
3. When you make the notch for the string, don't put it at the centre of balance, as the longer the string, the more leverage is applied to the throw. Experiment with distances for throws, and put the notch over 3/4 of the way back from the point of the arrow.
4. Don't angle the flights to induce spin, keep them straight with the shaft and trim the leading corners at an angle leading to the shaft (like a swept airplane wing). Playing cards work well as flights with 1/2 inch dowel.
5. Don't coil the throwing string many times around the shaft. Tie a knot right at the end of the string and wrap the string around the notch in the shaft 1 time, then KEEPING THE STRING VERY TIGHT, pass it over the knot and stretch it to the throwing hand, twist the string around your first 2 fingers and throw the arrow from your first 2 fingers - following through to pull the string with the throw. Experiment with throwing technique.

PLEASE be very careful, these things are lethal.
tledgerwood (author)  Phnom Penh2 years ago
thanks for the pointers mate! i learnt how to make this on camp but as other scouts weren't so good at descriptions and we couldn't make them on camp (due to how a previos scout managed to thow one into another campsite and through some poor souls tent!) so i tried to fill in the gaps. come a few years later and thats the result. Those tips shall be a real help as i now can't get further than 40 meters
Forgot to mention, throw the arrow from just behind the weight at the front end - keeps a longer string and goes farther.
Enjoy, and don't kill anyone, please.
LaBeasy3 years ago
can you get a picture of how it is supposed to be wrapped? thanks!
tledgerwood (author)  LaBeasy3 years ago
all its got to do is not slip forward down the shaft and for the wrap to lock the one beneath.